October Opportunities for Action
 
Day on the Hill -- LWVMA Lobby Day:

Make the League's voice loud on Beacon Hill. Join us Tuesday, Oct. 24, for the annual LWVMA lobby day, Day on the Hill. Our theme this year is Moving the Needle on League Priorities, and we'll be focusing on key legislation in voting, the environment, immigration and criminal justice reform. Keynote speakers are Rep. Patricia Haddad, speaker pro tempore in the House, and Sen. Cynthia Creem, assistant majority leader in the Senate. Registration and coffee begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the State House, with the program from 10 a.m. to noon. We'll offer a brief tutorial on how to lobby before you go see your own legislators after the program. Register here for Day on the Hill. We will let your Senator and Representative know to expect a visit, and you can also make appointments with them on your own. Your presence boosts the League's clout!

Elections & Voting:

Automatic Voter Registration: This important bill and League priority needs a push now to get it to the floor of the House. Please call or email your state Representative, contact information here, right away.  Tell him/her you support H.2091 to bring automatic voter registration to Massachusetts, and urge him/her to ask the Speaker to bring AVR to the floor for a vote.  It is important for every League member to contact their Representative now.
 
Women's Issues:

Tuesday, Oct. 3: Hearing on bill to assure insurance coverage for contraceptives. Joint Committee on Financial Services, 10:30 a.m. in Gardner Auditorium. Hearing on S.499/H.536 An Act relative to advancing contraception coverage and economic security, also called the ACCESS bill, to provide insurance coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices without copays or deductibles.
 
Energy & Environment:
 
League Forums: The next two events in the LWVMA   Climate and Energy Solutions Series will be in Winchester and Lexington.
 
Click here for information and a flyer for the Winchester forum Oct. 4.
 
Click here for further information and a flyer for the Lexington forum Oct. 19.
 
The final forum will be in Falmouth Nov. 4. The forums are free and open to the public.
 
Tuesday, Oct. 3: Hearing on bill to boost solar energy. Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, 1 p.m. in hearing room A-2. Hearing on S.1846/H.2706 An Act relative to solar power and the green economy , to eliminate solar net metering caps, establish a statewide solar target of 25% by 2030, and accelerate the Renewable Portfolio Standard by 3 percentage points each year. You can come and support this bill or call your legislators and ask them to testify at this hearing.

Tuesday, Oct. 17: Hearing on bill dealing with gas leaks.
Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. Check committee website here for time and location. Hearing on H.2683/S.1845 An Act relative to protecting consumers of gas and electricity from paying for leaked and unaccounted for gas, which provides an incentive for gas companies to repair leaks by prohibiting them from charging customers for "lost" gas.

Immigration:

 
Join the Virtual March now (before October 5) to support the U.S. Dream Act. The Dream Act, supported by LWVUS here , is gaining momentum in Congress after President Trump's call for Congress to act before the DACA program ends. The Virtual March takes place through Facebook and instructions are in this very short video.
   
Health Care:
 
Save the date for a single-payer health care lobby day Tuesday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State House. Mass Care is sponsoring the event to support Medicare for all and will offer information sessions and updates on pending legislation. Check for more details in the November Action Newsletter.

Mass Care is also sponsoring training for organizers on the single-payer issue, the Right to Health MA Organizer Bootcamp, Saturday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Minuteman High School,
758 Marrett Rd., Lexington . Interested people can register here .
 
Redistricting:
 
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Law School will host a day-long program on redistricting reform Wednesday, Nov. 8. The conference is free and open to the public but tickets are required. For more information or to register, click here

Progress Update:
 
What happened on our bills last month:
  • Bill to protect confidential information by requiring insurance benefits information be sent to patients rather than policyholders, S.591, reported favorably by Joint Committee on Financial Services and referred to Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
  • Bonding bill for financing production and preservation of housing for low and moderate income residents, H.675, reported favorably as amended by Joint Committee on Housing. The revised version, H.3925, was subsequently reported out of Housing and sent to the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.
  • Bill to reform solitary confinement practices in prisons, S.1306, reported out of Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, to which its companion bill, H.3071, was already assigned.
(Note: If you are going to a hearing, it's a good idea to confirm that it has not been cancelled or rescheduled. Check the legislature's website .)
 
 
The LWVMA Action Newsletter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Action Newsletter by clicking here. Please review this Newsletter for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

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